what brand of incubator do you recommend?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by RainesRanch, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. RainesRanch

    RainesRanch In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2010
    Nebraska panhandle
    Hi all! I was wonder....what brand of incubator do you recommend? Im a newbie to incubating eggs, in the past my birds just sat their own eggs! LOL I have been looking at both the little Giant and the Hovabator, both still air models with egg turners as I do work and cant always be here to turn the eggs manually. What I really need is a relatively inexpensive, user friendly, type incubator as I dont want to sink $100.00 into it and then be discouraged by no hatches! LOL.
  2. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    I recently bought a used hova bator off of craigslist it is working good for me I bought a egg turner the secret I think is to keep the temps around it the same and keep it away from drafts
  3. darkfur

    darkfur Songster

    I have both a little giant and a hovabator. Although they are similar, the hovabator works better for me. An advantage the hova has over the lg is that the lg has a very low "tray" at the bottom and the baby quail tend to leap/fall out when you open it! The hova also seems to maintain its humidity better, and the lg I had to sit in a plastic tray as the channels are hard to fill and if they overflow the water comes out the bottom, which is not the case with the hova. So if you have the choice I say the hova. The main thing though, is to make sure you have a turner AND a fan in there if at all possible. If you have to choose only one pick the turner. A good thermometer and hygrometer too. I have a thermometer I love to bits because it is a transparent dial shape and on a suction cup, so it can suck right on to the window of either a hova or an lg. I have found electronic thermos and hygros don't stand up well to the rigours of incubation
  4. IwannaBEaMERMAID

    IwannaBEaMERMAID Songster

    Oct 28, 2009
    Beverly Hills, CA
    I use a chick-bator mini incubator to incubate my button quail eggs
  5. JJMR794

    JJMR794 Crowing

    Mar 2, 2009
    1st Off You'll Not Find New Bator And Turner For 100.00..... No Matter What Brand
    2nd Quality Vs Price--- This Is A Personal Thing As We All Have Our Own Individual Limitations With Finances.
    3 Volume
    4 Hatch Rate

    Hova Bator, For The Cooler Bator Type This Is A Tad Superior To Lg But Both Have Their Pros And Cons--- For Gamebird Eggs You Deal With Much Higher Humidities, Same Is True With Waterfowl Eggs... The Lg's Shortcoming Here Is That It Is Not Designed With Enough Water Surface Area For Humidity--- Therefore It Has Trouble Maintaining Higher Humidities. The Plus--- I Like Their Controls Better Than Hovas, Another Minus--- Low Side Walls On The Bottom. Pop 1 Open To Get A Couple Dozen Quail Babies Out After They Hatch And Watch Quail Scatter Over Every Side And Fall Out--- To Me This Is A Bad Design. A Pain In The Rear For You The Operator And A Safety Hazard For Your Hatchlings. Hovabator Offers A Much Larger Water Surface Area For Higher Humidities, The Thermostat Control Seems A Lil Tighter On Temperature Variance Once You Get It Set Right, But The Overall Operation Of Their Controls Well... They Just Kinda Suck With All The Techknowledgy We Have These Days You ThinK They Could Be A Lil More User Friendly. They Do Have A Much HIgher Sidewall That Helps Retain Hatchlings. Otherwise 1 Is As Good As The Other.

    Now If You Want Superior Hatches And User Friendly Design.... Look At Brinsea. I Mean Seriously Look At Brinsea! For Any Specialty Breed/ Species Thats All I Use. In Fact If I Dont Have To Use The Cooler Bators I Try Not To. I Get Way Better Hatch Results From My Brinseas Than From Anything Else... I Have Had Lyons, And A Couple Other Brands--- None Were Anywhere Near As Good As The Brinsea Octogon Series And Most Were More Expensive.... Brinsea Is A Forced Air Unit And With Many Speces That Makes A Difference In Your Sucess Rates. The Unit Is Designed For Ease Of Use--- There Are No Real Controls, As These Are The Ron Popiel Type Incubators--- " Set It And Forget It!" The Entire Unit Is Designed To Disassemble Easily And Be Thrown In The Dishwasher For Cleaning/ Sterilization (almost The Entire Unit-- The Heating Element/ Fan/ Controls Are Built Into The Clear Lid Which Does Not Do So Well Getting Wet...) The Unit Does Not Require A Turner--- The Unit Has Removeable Dividers That Can Be Adjusted By The User To Set Eggs And The Whole Unit Is An Octogon Shaped Tube Once Assembled--- Add The Cradle For Autoturning And If You Wish To Hand Turn Its Easy, Just Move It To A New Flat Spot (remember, Octogon Shaped) Every Few Hrs. The Advertized Number Of Eggs Per Unit Is Misleading As Because Of The Design And Forced Air You Can Actual Double Or Even Tripple Stack Eggs In It And Exponentially Increase The Number Of Eggs Incubated At 1 Time. The Only Draw Back Is The Forced Air With Hatching--- Forced Air Has A Tendancy To "shrink Wrap" Lack-a-daisical Hatchers--- Any Forced Air Unit Will Do This.

    Brinsea Has Made Their Niche In The Hatching/ Incubating World As A Professional Incubator And Is Used By More Zoological Associations And Wild Life Preservation Organizations Worldwide Than All Other Manufacturers Combined ( Yes This Includes Gqf And The Their Sportsman Line...)

    I Have And Rouinely Use/ Run Multiple Units Of All 3 Manufacturers In Both Still And Forced Air Models--- I Have Forced Air Hovas I Incubate With, I Have Still Air Lg's I Incubate With, I Have Brinsea Octogons ( Oct 20 X 2, Oct 40 X 2) I Incubate With And Hova Still Air Models I Use As Hatchers For The "shrink Wrap" Reasons. My Cabinet Bators Are Brinsea Hatch Masters( Hatchmaster 360 X 2).
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  6. _Randall_

    _Randall_ Songster

    Nov 3, 2009
    Grenada, Ms
    (Most) folks knock Little Giant bators. BUT, I musta got lucky enough to have gotten the Demo model, or the one that was a bator that some big poultry company was given that was made by a choice group of the factory's personnel on a Wednesday with an incentive for doing so as a sales promo!!!!!!!!!! (It's forced air with turner). I guess I'm lucky, but that little styrofoam box holds a temp of +/- .9 degrees within 99.5ยบ, and I don't have to babysit it. Just my testimonial about LG.......
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  7. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    FWIW - I used to use a foam forced air Hovabator, and it was a nightmare -- temps would crash or spike based upon what was going on in the house, and humidity would either be tropical wet when the water reservoirs in the bottom were full, or bone dry when the fan had evaporated all of the water away. I got decent hatches, but only because I was CONSTANTLY fiddling with the thing, adjusting the thermostat and the water levels. It was very stresfull.

    I bought a Brinsea Octagon 20 Advanced with the automatic humidity pump this spring and the difference is night and day. I set it and can ignore it other than candling and checking for bad eggs from the first day util its time to remove the unit from the turner and take the eggs from the racks for hatching. I can then ignore it again until I need to remove hatchlings. It is extremely reliabe about keeping temperature despite wide variations in room temp. The thing I like most is the fact that I can just set the humidity to any level and it's there within a few minutes and stays there. This largely eliminates the drama over opening the unit during a hatch to tend to hatchlings and living in fear of what is going on with the humidity.

    The only criticism of the Brinsea unit I have is that the tubing system they use to inject water for the humidity pump is a bit akward and the clear silicon tubing often gets captured and tangled in the autoturner despite my best efforts to keep them separated. This hasn't cut off the water supply to the unit but is something to watch out for. Brinsea's engineers should work on this one -- I might do something myself -- I could probaby snake the feed tube through a rigid tube of some sort that helps prevent this.

    Of course, the price is substantially higher than the foam incubators -- about $450 total with shipping. But its reliable and sturdy and not made of foam which is easily damaged.
  8. apc

    apc Songster

    Nov 4, 2009
    Chickland, Il
    I used to use my hovabators + lgs religiosly! Had 4 of them, but never got the best hatches. Finally I got fed up, and purchased a dickies cabinet incubator, which set my back a few. But I filled it the first time, and it paid for itself. (and this was with barnyard chicks) If you plan on doing this to sell chicks, its the way to go! I had horrible luck with the foam cooler type ones, and will never go back. Expecially when it paid for itself in the first 21 days [​IMG]
  9. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Songster

    Jul 1, 2009
    Don't forget about homemade, or renovated.

    I have a GINORMOUS redwood Leahy incubator in my garage that will soon be an incubator, all I have to do is swap the heating elements, get a new thermostat, add a fan, and remove the asbestos. [​IMG]

    It will be able to hold at least 500 quail, more if I get it dialed in.

    But, if you are making a cooler-bator, which are AWESOME, it can be cheap.

    Wiring-snipped off something while your spouse isn't around
    Hot water heater thermo w/ modifications- $10.00
    Lightbulb and Lamp set- $8.00 or free if you can find one
    Little bit of wire-3.00

    Total cost: $21.00 and you can fit quite a few in there. More if you expand.

    Homemades really are something to consider!

    Edit: I have an old Hovabator forced air with a turner. I love it to pieces, but I feel like I'm not gettnig the best hatch rates. The humidity is either tropical or desert, there is no imbetween. And they still hop out, even with the higher sidewalls!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2010
  10. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:homemade does work my best hatches so far have been in homemade I incubated in a hovabator and then hatched in a homemade bator I set 6 at lockdown and all 6 hatched the 2 hatches previous were 18 out of 20 and 16 out of 20 same deal incubated in a HB then hatched in my homemade bator I have incubated and hatched in the same homemade 68 eggs I had 46 hatch that was from 2 different breeders on shipped eggs it is easy if you can watch your conditions and what is going on a coupla times a day the cheaper bators can/will work. if you work full time and can only check it once or twice a day you will probably need a slightly more automatic type bator. one you can only have to check a coupla times a week.
    the homemades I built so far I have used electronic t-stats for but my hovor has the old type t-stat and it seems to be working good so far


    this is one of the bators I have built

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